Theo: ‘Technology only came out, like, 20 years ago’.
Mabel: “Mama, when I have a bad dream and I wake up scared I think about you and that makes me feel better.”
Mabel: I wish we could get inside the T.V! Mama! The dog is kissing you! That means he likes you. I think he loves you, Mama. He is kissing your face, and I am rubbing the kisses in! So they don’t blow off in the wind!
It is 6.30 am.
Mabel: …Stop saying bossy!
Me: Well, stop being so bossy then.
Mabel: I CAN’T!
They’re sitting at the kitchen table, eating berry yoghurt with teaspoons. Mabel has asked me for two baby sisters for her birthday.
‘I’ll name them Elsa and Ana’, she tells me.
‘I want to have a baby when I grow up’ remarks her brother.
‘You can’t lay a baby!’ she tells him with authority. ‘You don’t have a fanny to lay it with!’
‘Okay then’; he pauses for thought. ‘You can have a baby when you grow up and give it to me!’.
‘Like Rumpelstiltskin!’ she roars.
They think they’re very funny.
Mabel: ‘You need to always have a big idea. Like that chicken that crossed the road’.
Mabel: ‘This is so spicy I have to eat it with one eye closed!’
She says, of a kiwifruit.
‘Who is the Queen?’
‘What is her name?’
I tell her.
‘Elizabeth! Like your middle name, Mama! What’s her last name?’
I see where this is going.
‘…Does the Queen have a fanny or a vagina?’
Which is a good question, really. But I explain, as best as I can, to someone who refuses acknowledge the proper terminology. (‘I JUST HAVE HEAPS OF FANNIES!’ she roars when the subject is anatomically discussed)
‘Yes. I KNOW. But what does the Queen call her one? …I’ll ask her. Where does she live?’
‘Why doesn’t she live in New Zealand?’
‘Can we go to her house?’
‘Well I’m going to!’
Dear Mabel Poppy,
When you were 3 years old, you were hell-bent on going to Buckingham Palace to ask Queen Elizabeth how she refers to her bits.
Please, never stop asking the hard questions. Your sense of fearless equality is something this world needs a little more of.
With adoration and allegiance,
Your Mother x
Mabel: Mama, have you seen my skirt?
Alice: Which skirt, baby?
Mabel: My skirt! The one I like!
Alice: Hmm…what colour is it?
Mabel: Yes! It’s colourful and it has a top and a bottom!
Alice: Colourful. Has a top and a bottom. Can you tell me anything else about it?
Mabel: It looks like a lily!
Alice: Colourful. Has a top and a bottom. And it looks like a lily? Oh! colourful has a top and a bottom and it looks like a lily!
Mabel: Yes, mama. Why was that so hard for you?
(She doesn’t like photos at the moment – so you’ll have to use your imagination…it’s an old one from Rock Your Baby. They still show up on Ebay sometimes x)
Mabel: Mama, you’re my favourite. You’re my favourite because you get the spiders out of their webs so they don’t scare me.